Solid-fueled Micro Colloid Thruster

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$124,998.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX12CG12P
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
110136
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
T3.01
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
12345 W. 52nd Ave., Wheat Ridge, CO, 80033-1916
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
181947730
Principal Investigator:
James Nabity
Principal Investigator
(303) 940-2313
nabity@tda.com
Business Contact:
John Wright
Chief Technology Officer
(303) 940-2300
krhodus@tda.com
Research Institution:
University of Colorado at Boulder
Kathleen Lorenzi
572 UCB
Boulder, CO, 80309-0572
() -
Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
Nanosatellites are receiving increased interest since they are proving reliable for surveillance, communication and other space missions. Also, the possibility of launching "constellations" of them offers unique capabilities for low-cost experimentation, sensing and communications in space. In comparison to larger spacecraft, their development time and costs have reduced and their launch costs are low. As a result several agencies have recently launched nanosats to test their ability to perform different missions. Unfortunately, none of these nanosats have had onboard propulsion systems, which would provide greater flexibility to position the satellite throughout the mission. There are several promising thruster concepts for nanosats which could provide attitude control and orbital transfer maneuvers (uN to mN thrust levels, respectively). Of these, the colloid thruster is most attractive since it is highly efficient even when scaled down to the micro scale. However, further development is still needed to meet the power, weight and volume constraints for fitment within a nanosat. Therefore, TDA Research, Inc. and the University of Colorado-Boulder propose to develop a solid-fueled micro colloid thruster. In Phase I we will melt a solid salt and supply it to the micro volcano emitter that will be used in Taylor cone experiments to determine its operating characteristics and evaluate its overall performance.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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